Singapore’s famous national monuments – the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings – are combined and reopened as the National Gallery Singapore on November 24, 2015.
The two historical buildings, connected by a handsome aluminium and glass canopy, took ten years and cost S$532 million to restore.
Situated in Singapore’s Civic District, its striking interior was designed by France’s Studio Milou Architecture. The 64,000 square-metre grand gallery is Singapore’s largest visual arts museum and aims to promote and develop Singapore and Southeast Asian art.
DBS Singapore Gallery
At the DBS Singapore Gallery, visitors can look forward to about 80 artworks by Singapore’s pioneer artists, amongst hundreds of local artworks displayed. These artists include Georgette Chen, Liu Kang, Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Choo Keng Kwang, See Hiang Tuo and Fan Chang Tien, amongst others.
Commonly termed as artists from the Nanyang Reverie period, these pioneers are famous for their Nanyang-style paintings that depict old Singapore and many places of Southeast Asia, in particular, Bali. Translated as “southern seas”, “Nanyang” is a Mandarin term often used to refer to Southeast Asia.
Marrying East and West, Nanyang-style is a unique local art form. Such works feature a blend of Chinese ink painting with the Western oil tradition, and portray Nanyang environment and culture such as attap villages, fishing villages in Malaya, Malay women, Singapore River and Chinatown.
UOB Southeast Asia Gallery
Housed in the former Supreme Court building, the UOB Southeast Asia Gallery showcases around 400 masterpieces from 10 Southeast Asian countries. The Southeast Asian artists whose artworks are on display include Myanmar’s U Ba Nyan; Indonesia’s Raden Saleh; the Philippines’ Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya and Juan Luna; Thailand’s Navin Rawanchaikul and Malaysia’s Zulkifli Yusoff, amongst others.
Entry to both galleries is free for Singapore Citizens, PRs and children six years and under.
Boasting over 8,000 works from the 19th and 20th centuries in all media, according to the museum’s website, be spoilt for choice at the newly-opened National Gallery Singapore. To find out more, visit https://www.nationalgallery.sg/ to discover both artistic and gastronomic delights.
A visitor gazes at an art work inside the newly restored National Gallery, housed in the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, on November 26, 2015.